Foreword: Hello! I am the new member of the Giants Farm on Scout team. I have had a blog running for more than a year now about the Giants farm system (Giant Prospective) where there are lots of my scouting reports on players as well as some features and interviews. I have been following the Giants since 2009, the MLB Draft in 2011, and the Giants farm system in 2012. I hope you will enjoy my content here at Scout! With that said, let's get to it.
Welcome to the 2017 top prospects primer! I'll write anything and everything about the top prospects for the upcoming 2017 season from my top prospects list to the possible breakout stars this year. I'll write thoughts about the guys on every list and I'll be as fair as I can and do as much justice in regards to ranking the prospects.
Trip Back Memory Lane
The 2016 season has been very good for the Giants farm system. The season started with the complete domination of Phil Bickford of the Sally League as well as the early struggles of Tyler Beede. The rest of the 2015 draft class showed its potential with the breakout performances of Steven Duggar and C.J. Hinojosa. Prized IFA Lucius Fox also showed his tools but struggled with the bat throughout the season. Miguel Gomez also broke out as he has proven that pitchers are no match to his bat.
As the season reached the midway point, many of the best players in San Jose got promoted to Richmond and guys like Bickford and Dylan Davis got promoted to San Jose. Bickford continued to dominate while Davis broke out and started mashing. Several other prospects continued to play well. The 2016 draft class also infused 2 polished OFs in Reynolds and Quinn and they hit very well in every stop that they went. The trade deadline also saw Bickford, Fox, Andrew Susac and Michael Santos depart from the farm system to improve the Major League roster.
As the season drew to a close, Austin Slater made PCL his own launchpad and hit homers almost every game, Beede aged like a fine wine this season where he improved as his season that culminated in an EL ERA title, and saw Ty Blach pitched very well in September and October for the Giants.
Giants Farm’s Top 30 Prospect List
This is where you will find the finest prospects of the San Francisco Giants organization. If you are a follower of my previous work, you might know that I don’t like ranking prospects. Instead, I separate them into tiers where I can segregate them easily and I felt that this group of people have the same value and it’s unfair to rank them. I have still included a ranking from 30-1 for the people that like rankings.
Top 30 Initial Analysis
The state of the farm system is directly related to the current roster of the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have an obvious weakness in the outfield as well as an aging starting rotation (except for Bumgarner) so the Giants loaded up on their pitching depth like they have been doing recently as well as in the outfield highlighted by their first two picks in the 2016 draft. All in all, there are only 4 players in the top 20 that are not pitchers or outfielders. In fact, Aramis Garcia is the only catcher in the top 30 and possibly in the top 50 of some deep rankings, but if the starting catcher on the Major League club is the best in the sport, they can afford to not develop too many for the time being.
The 2015 draft class also performed very well with seven draftees inside the top 30 list (it could have been 8 if Bickford didn’t get traded) plus the 2016 draftees have fared well so far, especially the top picks Bryan Reynolds and Heath Quinn. The Giants have proven to be better at developing hitters than pitchers but there are more pitchers in their Top 30 than hitters (17 vs 13) but it felt that there has been more noise coming from the hitters.
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All in all, John Barr and the scouting crew has made the farm system a middle-of-the-pack farm system in all of baseball even though the club won 3 championships in recent years and they have not been aggressive in the international market unlike the rival Dodgers. The front office has been drafting a lot of high floor guys up top with some risk due to some untapped ceiling in recent years and they also value the output in the Cape Cod League probably more than other organizations and it showed in the Top 30.
We'll be back tomorrow with the first tier of prospects as we begin our countdown!